There is no such thing as a typical University of Chicago student. While in terms of race the school remains dominated by ca...
There is no such thing as a typical University of Chicago student. While in terms of race the school remains dominated by caucasians and asians, in terms of perspective it's to image a place more diverse. While occasionally it can seem as if some are in a vigorous competition to outdo each other in terms of strangeness, often the oddities of my fellow students strike me as fascinating, or at least entertaining. Everyone here is smart, and everyone here is far, far, better than you at something, and this is important to keep in mind. While success for some has bred an undue sense of entitlement and arrogance, and sometimes you'll run across someone so pretentious you want to smack them, but on the whole uchicago students are incredibly friendly. Their straight up kindness and general concern for everyone's well being is perhaps their most enduring quality.
Academics at the University of Chicago are known for their intensity, and they really deserve it. Classes are difficult, and many students spend the majority of their time coping with coursework. However, its not just busy work--virtually all assignments are actually beneficial. Problem sets, while long, usually can really enhance your math skills and the readings, while equally long, are most often quite interesting. The University makes a big deal of learning for its own sake--hence the famous core system--and most students really embrace it. While it may be frustrating at first to take a class that holds no appeal for you, many students seem to eventually come around and appreciate what they're learning, no matter how far outside their eventual major it may be. Students in most majors do not compete with each other, excepting pre-meds and chemists.
I think that the stereotype of uchicago students is that we're too busy slaving away at our mammoth course-load to ever have any fun. After all, the unofficial slogan is that this the place "where fun comes to die." There is, unfortunately, some validity to this claim. Uchicago is hard, probably as hard as it gets. We do a lot of work, and have only limited free time. However, we make the most of what we get. Parties most certainly do happen here, and when I compare my notes with friends at other schools, it seems that if anything, ours are more intense, if more infrequent. The city of Chicago provides a number of exciting options, from world-class museums to excellent theatrical productions to fantastic food. When you get down to it, most uchicago students have a positive outlook, despite all the work.
Common stereotype: Nerds, hipsters, socially awkward True on the most part. There are a few fratty/sorority types, but the ...
Common stereotype: Nerds, hipsters, socially awkward True on the most part. There are a few fratty/sorority types, but the stereotype holds true in most cases.
UChicago has a very defined stereotype. We even put it on our T-shirts: Where Fun Goes To Die. According to the stereotype, w...
UChicago has a very defined stereotype. We even put it on our T-shirts: Where Fun Goes To Die. According to the stereotype, we're boring, smelly, neurotic nerds who never do anything but study. Also, we talk about Marx and Plato for fun. Also, we're weird. There is some truth to the stereotype, of course. They're not kidding about the academic rigor, I promise. You will be stressed. You will be utterly miserable at times. You will turn down invitations because you have two hundred pages of Plato to read before the next morning and two papers to write over the weekend. And the kind of kids who are drawn to the sort of school that UChicago is are at least a little bit nerdy. Some are more overt about it, but many aren't. You can have the typical college experience at UChicago -- if that's what you want. There are parties in dorms, in frats, at apartments. But it's equally easy to completely avoid parties, if your idea of fun is more along the lines of watching bad movies with your friends or having arguments about philosophy until three in the morning. Fun doesn't die -- it just takes different forms.
I have feel in love with the .University of Chicago. It's a relatively small student body and campus still within a train ri...
I have feel in love with the .University of Chicago. It's a relatively small student body and campus still within a train ride of downtown. I enjoy being able to go to the city whenever to hang out with friends or eat dinner. Obviously, the academics are astounding, but not "kill yourself" difficult like you may hear. There are countless activities and intramurals to get involved in as well. The motto: "Where fun comes to die" is only true if you make it true.
Students here are pretty liberal. A lot of kids are pretty wealthy, but not the majority as depicted by the public. Most people are pretty friendly and relatively social in nature. A lot of students are international and from far away, while another good percentage are from the suburbs of Chicago. Students are very serious about academics, which takes away from some of their interests in other things such as sports. However, most of the students I would say are pretty well-rounded.
Classes are not as bad as they are depicted as. In fact, professors are often nice and easier on grading, especially in the literary departments. People participate a lot in class, which is nice. Obviously, academics are taken very seriously and you will often see students studying until late at night. However, you won't have so much work that you cannot do it and still have fun, guaranteed.
The stereotype of students at the University of Chicago is that we are all a bunch of nerdy, freaky rich kids. The University gets the unkind motto: "Where fun comes to die." Although the students here are very smart, there is still a LOT of fun to be had at the University of Chicago. Obviously, at any good school, you are going to have your "weird" kids and "nerds" who do nothing but study in the library. But the overall student population is pretty social and smart, making it a good balance for everyone.
UChicago currently has about 5200 undergrads, and approximately double the number of grad school students. It's big enough to...
UChicago currently has about 5200 undergrads, and approximately double the number of grad school students. It's big enough to reach out to different people yet it's small enough that you don't get lost (figuratively) in a tsunami of students. The administration does a fantastic job with helping students develop personal relationships with not only their professors in small class settings, but with the house system that divides residents into 37 different houses. What's great about the house system is that you aren't assigned to 'Freshmen dormitories' but rather, a community of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years who are involved in a plethora of different organizations and activities that you can learn from, grab dinner with, debate about which super smash bro character is best, actually play midnight super smash bro tournaments with, and look up to for guidance. Your house becomes your family as you take sushi trips downtown or go apple picking on the weekends, and there is always someone in the lounge (even at the most ungodly hours) that is there to keep you company as you both stay up till the wee hours, studying for your Honors chemistry exam. When people ask where I go to school and I answer they say "Wow, that's really good!" Half the time I'm not sure if they're saying that because they actually know the prestige of the University or because they don't really know anything at all. However, that is all irrelevant because UChicago is undoubtedly a prestigious name for recruiters or when you apply for jobs. Also, we have the most Rhodes scholars for an American University (score!). Our Career Advisory Planning Services (CAPS) program is also amazing. They guide you through writing your resume, and help place you into internships or jobs post-graduation and while you are an undergraduate (Metcalf internships anyone?). Before many people visit UChicago they have the idea that it will be like Columbia-- a University campus in the heart of the City. However, applicants should note that UChicago is located in Hyde Park, a neighborhood South of Chicago. It is a neighborhood that has a characteristic of its own, and we have a beautiful quad with trees and grass and ivy covered buildings. We are conveniently located a bus ride away from downtown Chicago so the accessibility to the city and the opportunities available in Chicago are great factors to consider. One thing I read the other day about UChicago and its traditions that I completely agree with is the student body's propensity to streak. The Polar Bear run is an annual campus streaking tradition to "kick the winter blues" and from time to time we have Harper Library streakers (usually during reading period/ finals week). 2008 marked the grand reopening of the Lascivious Ball, an annual event where people wear questionable costumes that shows more flesh than it covers. Apparently, at the University of Chicago, students are more comfortable meeting others sans clothes than they are properly dressed...
MUNUC, ChoMUN, The Maroon, Phoenix Fund, Women In Business, Mock Trial. Student Government, University Theatre, Rhythm and Jews, Chicago Mens A Capella, Doc Films. UBallet, Council on University Programming (COUP)
Students come from all around the world and clearly not every person comes from the same socio-economic level. There are a wide range of ethnicities and cultures represented here as well as religions, sexual orientations, and interests. I know many people who are involved in cultural organizations, or bible study groups, sports, Greek life, University Theatre, Doc Films, LGBTQ, MUNUC, and a plethora of other student groups. If you have a particular interest and you cannot find an RSO (registered student organization) for that already, there is always the option of starting your own RSO by getting it approved by the Committee on Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO). Like any other college with similar weather, we dress like college kids. College sweatshirts, jeans, bags, but a lot of people have their own personal style and expression in the way they dress. Hipsters, jocks, book worms, whatever aside, will all, if not properly dressed, catch a cold.
We all hear the same self-deprecating UChicago joke, "UChicago: Where fun comes to die" and the equally self-deprecating quote, "UChicago: Where the squirrels are cuter than the girls/Where the squirrels are more aggressive than the boys." Truth is, the squirrels are just unnaturally cute in Chicago with their ungodly furry tails (I swear, you've never seen anything fluffier and quite dangerous too), and, like any college, fun comes to die(t) once in a while (it's not all fun and games like the movie "College" makes you believe). What binds all UChicago students together is, at the same time, what makes us all different; we are unique in our thinking and quirky in expressing our thoughts. The quintessential UChicago student is not just one person, it is a combination of football players, Model UN-ers, Human v. Zombie-ers, musicians, community activists, sorority girls, artists, and intellectuals, all aspiring to transform the world with their knowledge and actions. There is no stereotypical UChicago student, unless you consider being fabulous stereotypical.
Humanities and social science classes (that everyone will eventually take to fulfill the Core) are generally small enough that you could tell if somebody was absent. The professors make an effort to remember and call you by your name by the second week of classes. They are discussion based classes so you not only develop a relationship with your teacher, but your fellow students as well, as you debate and discuss ideas and texts. What I loved about my humanities and social science classes was the teacher's dedication to meeting your needs. They ask us for our opinions on texts, what works? what doesn't work? and their office hours are flexible and most teachers are very willing and excited to meet with you and go over your paper. In larger lecture classes like Intro to Micro/Macro, the student and teacher relationship is inevitably different. The first few lecture classes which was capped at 150 somehow ended up upwards 170, as 20 extra students magically trickled in. Such classes require a lot more dedication on the student end to speak up and ask questions or seek out teachers or T.As. on their own free time. The workload is completely dependent on the courses you choose to take. Some people argue that certain majors are harder than others but logically, more popular majors have more students and therefore, more competition. 3 classes is a full course-load and 4 classes is the maximum number of courses a student can register for (unless he/she decides to petition this in which he/she meets with the Dean of students in the college). 3 classes for one person can be a completely different commitment for another person. While I had only 3 classes and 8 hours of classes a week (Social sciences, humanities, and intro to micro), my friend who took 3 different classes (humanities, core bio, and spanish) had ~11 hours of classes plus 50 minutes of Spanish recitation/ conversation a week. I feel that the University of Chicago uses its core curriculum to help students bridge the gap between the comforts of high school and the spirited academic inquiry of college. Its core curriculum is specially designed to generate great thinking minds for all students regardless of their future field of study.
Overall, I love this school, but I can also recognize that it is not for everyone. If you want to party six days a week, don'...
Overall, I love this school, but I can also recognize that it is not for everyone. If you want to party six days a week, don't come here. If you want to do as little work possible, don't come here. If you want to take classes specifically in your major and nothing else, don't come here. If you want a really warm, fuzzy, hand holding experience with the faculty, don't come here. If you want a cheap education, don't come here. All of that being said, there are SO MANY reasons to come here. If you want an intellectually diverse student body, come here. If you want to go to parties and be able to do a keg stand while discussing Kant, come here. If you want professors that are honest with you, push you, and who really help you grow (not just give you grades), come here. If you want a school that provides amazing job resources and opportunities, come here. If you want to go to school in one of the best cities in the world, come here. If you want a school where people care about ideas and have conviction in their beliefs, come here. If you want to come out of your college experience feeling a little worn down but a million times smarter and more developed, COME HERE.
Clubs/organizations: I personally am not overly involved in student clubs on campus (We call them "RSOs" for Registered Student Organizations) but this mainly has to do with my personality type. (Not especially a "joiner".) However, I still feel very involved with campus, because most campus events are open to everyone and organizations are always welcoming new members. Especially popular groups on campus are University Theater, Women in Business, Peer Health Exchange, Model UN, just to name a few. (THERE ARE A TON.) This is one of the things I love about Chicago, if you want to join a club, they are always there, but there is no pressure if they are not really your thing. Dorm Life: Dorms sort of develop their own personalities. The college is divided into houses...your house (think Harry Potter...) consists of the people you live and eat with. You can be as involved or uninvolved with house activities as you want. We have house tables in the dining halls so you almost never have to sit alone. Your house sponsors trips and activities such as going out to dinner, going to see shows, and movie nights, so if you are kind of shy at making your friends on your own this is a good way to get to know people. It depends on the night as to whether or not doors are open or closed or if people are being rowdy or quiet. (Most of the time pretty quiet...) Everyone feels very safe leaving their doors unlocked, and it is not unusual to have a random techno-music study break in the hall at 2:00 in the morning. Dating/Social Scene: I think that the dating is pretty typical of any college campus. There are people who date exclusively, there are people who hook up casually, there are people that are seemingly asexual. People party Friday and Saturday nights (this is probably my biggest complaint about the school....It would be nice to have the option of going out more than one or two nights a week, but oh well) Parties are usually held at the frat houses or apartments around campus...word generally travels by mouth. Most of the frats charge a $5 cover to cover alcohol costs, which I found unusual, but apparently it is to make up for the low dues of being a member here. I know a lot of people involved in Greek life, though I think that is the nature of being someone who likes to go out a fair amount, because officially only somewhere around 10% of the student body is affiliated. I am not personally, but my best friend is, and they are generally very welcoming at the parties. When we go off campus pretty much we eat, eat, eat. There is SO much good food in Chicago and so many diverse neighborhoods. The dining halls close at 2:30 on Saturdays, so we usually use that as a day to go out and explore the city and have dinner. We also hit up museums and shows....though it takes at least an hour to get anywhere on public transportation so sometimes laziness gets the best of us. Overall, the social life is what you want it to be, but there is no way to get around how much studying is necessary at this school. That being said, I have found some of the best friends in the world here, so even when I'm in the library in the middle of the night working on a terrible paper it is hard to be miserable.
It really is a melting pot here. Students are generally very accepting of one another (at least I have never had an experience to indicate otherwise.) Students are from all over the world (the student body is something like 20% international). The most prominent religion on campus seems to be Judaism, though there are a variety of religious groups on campus. When it comes to politics it is hard to say, though I am inclined to say that the student body is predominantly center. People enjoy playing devil's advocate too much to only loyal to the extreme of one side. This being said, because of our age group most people are fairly socially liberal. What people wear to class is completely random...we have full on fashionistas (especially male ones, surprisingly enough) but the common UChicago uniform is jeans and some form of school spirited apparel. We are not an overly fashion conscious school, nor overly name-brand or designer oriented. If that's what you're in to, you can find it, but there certainly isn't any competition about what you wear as opposed to some schools. Because of this, it is often hard to tell the financial backgrounds of the students--there is little need to talk about it.
The academic experience here probably really does depend on your major. Professors have known my name in every class I have taken thus far, and go out of their way to be available to students for extra help. Classes are hard...this is definitely a place to be if you get some kind of sick joy out of writing papers. Class participation is not only common but oftentimes a required part of your grade (again depends on the subject area though, clearly philosophy classes require more discussion than statistics.) Students most certainly have intellectual conversations out of class...it is really nicely woven in with more casual conversation. You do get the odd kid every once in a while who is super competitive (we like to refer to them as "that kid"), but people are far more supportive of one another than you may expect. None of the talk about the work load is meant to scare anyone away. I came to school quaking in my boots for fear of the piles of coursework I had been assured I would receive here, but overall I find it to be pretty easy to manage. Once you find your own "academic rhythm" so to speak (i.e. whether you are a crammer or need more organized study time) it's easy to feel like you have things under control.
There typical stereotype for UChicago would definitely be "nerd." Or, "super nerd." Everyone has heard the famous slogans such as "Where fun comes to die" or my personal favorite, "Where the squirrels are prettier than the girls." I'll be honest, there are reasons why those stereotypes exist....they are based on truth...we study here, A LOT. That being said, I have been consistently impressed with the diversity in the student body despite the very clear cut UChicago "type." There are jocks (they mostly stick together), hipsters, nerds, stoners, divas, and etc. etc. and a mix of everything above. What's more, everyone is here for a reason...because they are SMART, so even if they do fit into a certain stereotype it is easy to have a meaningful conversation with anyone.
Your closest friends will be your housemates. The system is built, it seems, to force interaction between the stereotypical s...
Your closest friends will be your housemates. The system is built, it seems, to force interaction between the stereotypical socially reclusive Chicago students, but it works to form close friendships and make the medium sized university feel small. I love that I can walk down the hall to my house lounge and always find a friend to procrastinate with or go to the dining hall by myself and always find someone at the house table to have a conversation with. Greek life is much bigger than I thought before I came here, but is not at all dominent. I'd say the majority of people I know went to frat parties first week and only return when there's nothing better to do. Apartment parties are a common weekend activity if you know upperclassmen. There's always a million things happening Friday and Saturday nights, though two frats host events every Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, as well. For non-drinkers, there's always a show or a concert or some sort of activity going on. I'd say I know more people who drink then who don't drink, but there is never any pressure to drink or a feeling that one won't have fun if one doesn't drink.
Everyone here is bright and interesting. Some kids fit the socially awkward stereotype, some are so jock-like you can't believe they're at U of C. I'd say there's a wide range of kids. The big groups I can pick out seem to be the hipsters, who seem to multiply every quarter. You can find them smoking clove cigarettes outside Cobb Coffee shop. The others seem to be Econ majors, who are universally vilified to hoping to make money after graduation instead of sacrificing themselves to the god of academia, as is traditional. They may tend to be a little prepier than the rest of the student body and often make up a fair proportion of the frats. No one cares how you dress here. Jeans and tshirts are prevalent. Sure, some people dress nice most of the quarter but come finals it is all sweats, all the time. Politically, I'd say the campus leans right, though the tradition of the Chicago school certainly lives on. You'll meet a lot of fiscal conservatives, but the social conservatives are harder to find. The campus isn't too political overall though the College Dems and Republicans and strong, fairly large organizations and all my friends, at least, enjoy talking about current events.
We're renowned for being difficult. It's true. Don't come to Uchicago unless you're willing to put in serious library time. Grade deflation is a fact of like though it's widely said that grad schools know this and consider our gpas seperatley. I came to U ofC unsure how I felt about the Core, but I now love it. My classes have been great foundations for anything else I do academically. Core classes are kept small, which is nice. The best change from high school has been that everyone here is engaged in the material and in learning. Everyone's a geek. Intellectual discussions outside of class are prevalent. The whole "Life of the Mind" campaign the admissions office has been putting out is true-- we don't just discuss Occupy Wall Street here, we discuss it as relating to Marxist revolutionary theory. Academics are everywhere here
U of C is known for workaholic, socially incompetent geeks. What you're more likely to find, however, is a mass of smart kids across the social competency scale. Sure, there are some kids who look like they could be on the Big Bang Theory. But there are also sorority girls who could be on Greek. The great thing about Chicago is that everyone you meet, no matter what they look like, ends up being smart and interesting -- otherwise they wouldn't have gotten in!
So the biggest thing I talk about with new students is that the classes are hard. People usually complain about the amount of...
So the biggest thing I talk about with new students is that the classes are hard. People usually complain about the amount of work that they have and how busy they are. But I think that at every college, you will be challenged and our school prepares you for anything. I spend most of my time in my dorm or at the library when I am not working or at club meetings during the week. But on the weekends, I am downtown, at friends’ apartments and just having fun. The only thing though, is that it is really cold in the winters, but all the free hot chocolate our school provides will make up for it. Despite all this though, I think that the University of Chicago has a lot of the great features that any student would want. We are near a big city, which is easy to get to with public transportation. Chicago is a beautiful city with great shopping, restaurants and other features that any person would fall in love. The class sizes are a perfect size so that you get a lot of attention from your teachers when you need help. There are a lot of resources to help you, whether it is with finding a job or with your homework. U.Chicago has over 300 student organizations in every single imaginable interest you may have and there you will meet some of your best friends Did I also mention that we have $1 Milkshake day every single Wednesday? Yeah, it’s great.
There are multiple groups on campus and they are separated into different sectors. Multicultural groups are some of the most fun to get involved with and I am involved with PanAsia. Through this group, I have gotten to meet with artists and stars from all over the world and bring them to U.Chicago to celebrate Asian American culture. We have a lot of greek life on campus as well and they host parties, fundraisers and events for the schools. My friends who are in these programs really love it and say that they have met life long friends there. Our fraternity brothers and sorority sisters are not like those at other schools though because they do mingle with other students and meet the high standard that our school sets for academics. Pre-professional programs are also very common in different kinds of jobs. Finance, consulting, marketing, medicine and another progressional all have groups on campus that give relevant experience to our major since we are a liberal arts school. I am involved with one called Eckhart Consulting and I have gotten to do consulting work for a number of different clients in the city of Chicago. We also just have a bunch of different organizations such as MUN, Mock Trial, Debate, and Student Government. We also have many clubs started that are for entrepreneurship and for those interest in sports. Bascialy, there are a million things to do on campus and when you are not participating in clubs, you can do other things. On a typical Saturday night, there are parties where you can go drink and be social. But for those who don't want to drink or want to party in a different setting, there are other things. We have Doc, which provides cheap movie screenings of recent movies every weekend and people go out to dinner in all kinds of places such as Chinatown or downtown. We can go shopping or just hang out with friends at people's apartments. People go to the Chicago Theater for shows and on weekends, our school hosts large events such as a Spring Carnival, concerts with Wale and sports games. You name it, you can do it at U.Chicago.
The best part of the University of Chicago is the diversity of students that you get to meet. We have a large portion of international students and students of all races. In fact, our school really provides resources for every kind of student. We have 3-4 churches and synagogues on campus, with trips to mosques on the weekends for people to stay religious on campus. We have 50 or so multi-cultural organizations for every race and each holds some kind of show every year. We have 5710, a center for multicultural students and LGBTQ students as well. We have a great financial aid program to help any student with financial needs as well as many work-study jobs. Different students interact all the time as my friends are from all over and have all different kinds of hobbies. This is due to the housing system that puts a diverse group of students together and gives them opportunities to get to know each other. If you want to be politically active, we have multiple club to do that, as well as many opportunities in the city to do so.
Class participation usually comes down to 3-5 students in each class with some people participating once in a while. Each class will have a "That kid" which is a person who talks for the sake of talking and our classes usually bond because of that person. I think that that is a good example of how important academics is to U.Chicago. People here study a lot, with many people living in the library during Finals Week. The students are very competitive, but it is more competition against the class then with other students. Anywhere, you will find people willing to help and and the school provides free tutors. As an Economics Major, I am a student who has problem sets each week and takes some of he most challenging classes in the school. Some interesting classes I have gotten to take though, have been outside my major for the Core. The COre is a set of classes each students has to take such as humanities, civilizations, math and science. I got to take "The History of Natural Deserts" which was really fun and I even got to study abroad to get credits for my major. The school is a liberal arts school, but there is a lot of preparation for people to get jobs afterwards, although many people go to Grad School. People here just really enjoy learning and will spend time to do so because they study for the purpose to learn more, not for a grade.
I recently found a website that ranked schools based on "The Number of Nerdiest Students." Needless to say, the University of Chicago was ranked number one. U.Chicago is supposedly known for having students that love to spend time in the library and in conversations with their friends, discuss the thoughts of Plato and Aristotle. We are known to only study and not participate in school activities or sports. In fact, it seems like people think that people who graduate don't find jobs because we don't have pre-professional majors like Finance or Engineering. All of these things are true, but that isn't the average U.Chicago student. I would be lying if I said that I had never walked buy a lunch table that had students fervently arguing about a humanities subject, but that doesn't mean that everyone does. In fact, it isn't that students at the University of Chicago like to spend time in the library, but it is more that we like to learn and accept the challenges that our professors pose on us. We may not have the best sports team, but our sports team dominate our division. We have one of the best women Volleyball teams in our division and our schools has one of the best Intramural sports programs that hundreds of students participate in. We have school formals, an active greek life and parties every weekend! Our housing system allows for people to make great friends and we have hundreds of student organizations for every kind of person. As for the rumor about pre-professional majors, yes, we are a liberal arts school. But that doesn't mean we graduate without jobs. In fact, the top corporations come recruit from our student population because we have been taught to learn quickly and to think differently from our peers at other schools. U.Chicago students know how to face a challenge and that is why we dominate in school and once we graduate as well, whether it is in Grad School or in the work force. In fact, U.Chicago has the #1 Business School (Booth School of Business) and amazing Medical and Law schools as well that love to recruit from the undergraduate program. So in all, yes we are nerdy. But we welcome every kind of person. Whether you think you will be a frat brother, a nerd, a jock, or a class clown, we welcome you. The University of Chicago is for every kind of person and we love to prove our stereotype wrong!
For the longest time, UChicago was known as the place "Where fun comes to die." The stereotypical student was nerdy, unattrac...
For the longest time, UChicago was known as the place "Where fun comes to die." The stereotypical student was nerdy, unattractive, and socially awkward. This may have been true in the past, but things have changed in the last few years. There is a new admissions director and high schoolers apply using the Common App, so as a result the student body as a whole has become more socially diverse.
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